For the split second it takes to settle a faceoff,
isn't going to let anyone stop him.
Winning the draw is what he knows. It's what he's excels at.
The junior lacrosse player at Middleton (Wis.)
has worked diligently for nine years to get to where he's at today. Kapp's a master of his craft as one of the top faceoff specialists in his state and one of the best in the Midwest.
"It's fun to get out there and just give it all you've got for a quick burst of a couple seconds and get off the field, get the possession for your team," said Kapp, who is 17 years old.
Those who aren't familiar with lacrosse might focus on a player who scores goals in bunches or can dish out flashy assists. Faceoff wins are a lost art.
"It is overlooked," Middleton boys lacrosse coach Sanford Erdahl said. "A lot of times faceoff percentage is around 50 percent for most players. But right now, he's got about 78 percent win percentage, which is just incredible."
It's not a glamorous duty, but it is sure is important. Kapp thrives as the unsung hero of his team.
"Whenever we're down a goal or two, he's always the first one to make that impact and bring that energy just by winning that faceoff and getting our offense going," Erdahl said.
Kapp, who played club lacrosse in the past for Amplify out of Milwaukee, has tried to master his skill through years and years of practice. A hockey player at a young age, Kapp picked up lacrosse in third grade. At that level none of the players wanted to take a faceoff, so Kapp jumped at the chance. He fell in love with battling for the draw.
"The first couple of years that I did it honestly I was able to win the faceoff and score, so I still had the scoring aspect of it," Kapp said. "I would score quite a few goals a game. As I got older, probably by seventh or eighth grade, I wasn't scoring as much. I guess initially I was just happy I was scoring off the faceoff, which is probably part of the reason I fell in with it."
Middleton has played 11 games this season, and Kapp has been impressive in the faceoff circle. Out of 201 faceoffs, Kapp won 158, which is 78.6 percent. He has also scored one goal and two assists.
Kapp has even registered a couple games in which he didn't lose a draw the entire game.
After a phenomenal sophomore season in which he won 80 percent of his faceoffs, Kapp was named first team All-State and an All-American by U.S. Lacrosse. He was only a handful of sophomores named to the prestigious list.
"It was one of the best feelings I've ever had," Kapp said. "It was after one of our games, we were in the state playoffs, and our coach announced it to me and the entire team once we got back to our locker room and the entire team was just jumping up and down. I was just in shock, I was so excited."
Kapp, who is in his third year starting at Middleton, has become more impressive in the faceoff circle as his career progresses.
"Initially, it was just my reaction to the whistle that I was quicker, though I had the natural advantage over some kids," said Kapp, who dropped hockey after his freshman season to concentrate on lacrosse. "But as people started to catch up to me, I didn't want to be the average player, so I started actually training in my basement with an app that does the faceoff cadence. Almost every single day I'd be down there for 30 minutes just working on faceoffs, trying to get faster, trying to get better."
When Kapp was in sixth grade, he reached out to Duke faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler for advice. The college standout has been a role model to Kapp along the way. The two still text to this day as Fowler is one of the owners of the Faceoff Academy.
During the season, Kapp practices faceoffs one hour a day. During the offseason, he works about 45 minutes on a daily basis. He's a grinder, which is an ideal quality for a faceoff specialist.
"I'm at a point where it's kind of hard to get faster, at least to see changes in how quick I am to the reaction of the whistle," Kapp said. "But I can always work on form. I'm always trying to get better form, always trying to get stronger, always trying to tweak things and make sure I stay at my prime. But I always feel like I can get better."
Kapp has about six or seven maneuvers in his faceoff repertoire. He uses the most common move in lacrosse, the pinch and pop, about 85-90 percent of the time. Opposing players generally know what's coming, but Kapp is tough to stop.
"I always go into the game trying to do my main move, which gets the ball down the field the quickest," Kapp said. "If that move doesn't work, I have to switch to more of a defensive move, so I make sure they can't get on me and stick check me so I can get the ball up the field."
Erdahl called Kapp's best trait is his quickness on the draw. But Kapp also has a high lacrosse IQ from constantly studying the game.
"He figures out what the opponent's faceoff guy is going, how they're setting up their faceoffs," Erdahl said. "He figures that out and then figures out how to concur it. He's really quick on that."
Over the years, Kapp has ventured out on the national scene to enter faceoff competitions. Most events are bracket style in which competitors square off one-on-one. The winner of the best-of-five faceoffs advances. At a regional contest this year, Kapp finished highest in his class, losing in the semifinals to the eventual champion, a Division I commit.
"Every single time that I go to that national showcase I always come back with more energy to just work harder and get better," Kapp said. "It's kind of an eye-opener every year to just know there are kids out there that are better than you and you need to do better so you can go where you want to go."
Since Kapp is one of the best faceoff specialists nationwide, he's starting to attract interest from colleges. Marquette, which has the only Division I men's lacrosse program in the state, and Furman are hot on Kapp's trail. The University of Indianapolis, a Division II school, is also in the running for Kapp's services.
Kapp's talent on the field will carry him far, but his dedication in the classroom is what will get him into college. Acquiring a lacrosse scholarship, especially at the Division I level, is difficult. So, Kapp makes sure his grades are up to par.
He holds a 3.81 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society. Through that organization, Kapp volunteers around his community on a regular basis.
Kapp has dedicated his time this year for a major food drive, setting up as well as cleaning up. NHS is collecting food at each of the Middleton School District's elementary schools and sending it to the local food pantry, Middleton Outreach Ministry.
Kapp also helps tutor fellow high school students during his study hall. On the lacrosse field, Kapp coach's youth players. He knows the future of lacrosse depends on getting the young players to love the sport as much as he does.
There are two freshmen on the Middleton junior varsity team who have latched onto the role of taking faceoffs. Kapp is always willing to go above and beyond to help out those two players.
"He will spend extra time after practice kind of showing the ropes and things that he's learned," Erdahl said. "He's kind of mentoring them, and that's great to have."
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